5 Challenges To Overcome When Managing A Remote Business

20 min read
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This article discusses the challenges faced when managing a remote business and provides tips and strategies to overcome them. It covers topics such as resourcing your team, maintaining productivity, communication within the team, handling work processes, and boosting team morale. By implementing the suggested solutions and adopting a culture of trust and support, remote businesses can thrive and succeed.

Key Takeaways:

  • When resourcing your team, research candidates thoroughly, check testimonials and referrals, utilize social media platforms, and establish clear terms and agreements.
  • Maintaining productivity in a remote setting requires clear communication, setting objectives, understanding your team members' motivations, being flexible, and monitoring progress.
  • Effective communication within the team is crucial, and it can be achieved through advanced planning, using collaboration tools, implementing reporting and overview processes, and refining communication channels.
  • Establishing efficient work processes involves keeping them simple and versatile, incorporating automation, focusing on results, and being adaptable as the company grows.
  • Team morale plays a vital role in remote businesses, and it can be maintained by providing support, actively listening, incorporating incentive-based tasks, and organizing team-building exercises.
  • Remote businesses should prioritize careful planning, preparation, and patience, foster a culture of inclusivity and support, and maintain transparency throughout the company to ensure collective understanding and success.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on many companies, forcing them to adapt to new ways of conducting business and keep afloat in the current economic climate. Whether you've just decided to take the leap and switch to a remote working schedule or are a company conducting business with employees from all over the world, there are certain challenges that come with managing a business where everyone isn't in the same office or even country!

While a remote set up for any business reduces costs and allows for a flexible and versatile setup, there are also certain obstacles. With a variety of challenges, it definitely isn't smooth sailing in the beginning until you find your footing and set up the right work processes for your team.

Table of Contents

1. Resourcing your team

It is always difficult to find the right employees for your company, whether full-time or remote. A couple of meetings is not enough to understand the thought process and work ethics of people. Doing that just over Skype or a video call seems even more difficult. Strengths and weaknesses become more evident as you work together over time and thus, allowing your new hire a chance to make mistakes and learn from them is necessary.

Research your candidates -

When looking for employees for your remote business, always do your research before you reach out so you know if the candidate's expertise meets your requirements and if they are a good fit or not.

Check testimonials and referrals -

Past work reviews and testimonials can give you an idea of how the candidate is in their work ethic. Check testimonials from previous clients or employers as well as sample work if available.

Think local -

Just because you have a remote company, doesn't mean your employees or team members can't be from the same city. Since no one is working from the office, they could literally be in the building across from you!

Use social media websites -

Most creative and budding professionals these days harness the benefits of using social media platforms to showcase their work. Always check their profiles on websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see any relevant information and work.

Agreement of terms -

Once you have zeroed in on your candidates, make sure you set up terms you are both comfortable working with. This will help both you and the employee understand what is expected from the other.

2. Maintaining productivity

As a remote workforce, maintaining productivity and ensuring your team stays motivated always comes as a challenge. It is important that your employees be proactive and self-motivated to complete their tasks in a timely manner. Without this, your company's growth can be stunted and you can incur losses.

Clear communication -

Stay aligned on tasks and work by constantly being in touch with your team. Schedule regular calls on a daily basis to touch base and ensure clear communication procedures. Read more about communicating clearly below.

Set objectives -

Make sure to set clear objectives for each team member that contributes to the growth of the company as well as their personal and professional development. Communicate short term and long term goals in advance so each member understands the scope of the work and how they can achieve milestones.

Understand your team -

Understand what drives each team member and pushes them to do better. Some people benefit from an incentive-driven process while others do well with positive encouragement. Many people also do well when you use Gamification as a way of motivation and competition.

To know more about how Gamification can help in the workplace, read our blog: Use Gamification to Increase Employee Engagement

Flexibility -

Being flexible in a remote job comes with the territory. This is why you must respect everyone's varied productivity peaks. As long as they are self-motivated and delivering the work on time, how and when they do it should not be a problem. Try to maintain a structure and cohesiveness when it comes to aligning on flexibility.

Monitor progress -

As a team leader or manager, effective project management is one of your top priorities and monitoring the progress of tasks is important. Tracking progress against expectations is a big part of understanding how each team member is doing to ensure all processes work smoothly.

3. Communication within your team

It cannot be stressed enough that communication is the key to a perfectly working remote business! Without open communication amongst your team, it is impossible to stay on the same page and work together. Staying in touch and being updated on tasks is of utmost importance, and so is communicating expectations for each task.

Plan in advance -

Make sure to plan your communication in advance and intimate the required parties to be there. Plan slots for each day and week as a way to touch base on what has been happening and how each member is moving along with their tasks.

Use tools -

There are several tools available for free or paid that make collaborating with your team seamless and easy. A must-have for businesses of any size is a Customer Relationship Management software that is a cloud-based system and can make communication and coordination between various people much simpler.

To know more about CRM and its advantages, read our blog - 9 Advantages Of Cloud Computing For Remote Working.

Reporting and overview -

Maintain a standardised process for task reporting so you can get a view of what is happing on a daily or weekly basis. This also pushes teammates to meet targets and helps in increasing morale and motivation. As a team manager, you will also be able to easily identify skill gaps and achievements in the day to day work.

Refine communication channels -

Too many communication channels can leave you open to missed messages and unread notes. Minimise and refine your primary source of communication and stick to that platform so nothing is left unnoticed or forgotten.

Manning a remote company comes with its own challenges, but when handled properly, a remote setting can become extremely beneficial. In the next edition, we discuss how to set efficient work processes in place and handle team morale and motivation when working remotely!

If you're looking for a cloud-based CRM that can efficiently help you handle work remotely, get in touch with our FIVE CRM experts to know more.

Remote working has become the new normal for companies, whether it is a change adapted due to the Coronavirus pandemic or just as a trend to reduce set up costs and minimise pressure on a new startup. Apart from the economic benefits such a working model provides remote businesses, it also adds the advantage of tapping into a market of several professional, self-employed people from all over the world since there is no restriction of location.

Though, getting to the optimal level of running a smooth business with teammates who don't work in the same office can be challenging. In the first part of this blog, we discussed common challenges faced by remote companies such as -

  • Resourcing a new team and how to find people who are a good fit for the job.
  • Maintaining productivity and monitoring progress when you aren't working together.
  • Staying on the same page to understand your team's expectations via open and clear communication.

In this second part of the blog, let's delve into the challenges of creating everyday work processes for smooth workflow as well as ensuring that team morale is high so your company can efficiently overcome any problems and challenges!

4. Processes to be handled

Having an agreed set of processes in place can help everyone increase productivity and decrease confusion. Establishing the right processes for your business from the early stages is essential to allow team members as well as managers to understand the ultimate goal and work towards it in tandem. While there should always be room for creativity, a set process in place can provide seamless workflow every day. This becomes even more important as your company grows with new systems, team members, and legacy processes.

Simple and versatile -

Try not to make things unnecessarily complex and rigid when it comes to creating processes and following them. You need to add versatility to the mix so that your team has a way to exercise their creativity but within a framework of previously agreed upon processes. If you already have a communication structure in place, a little back and forth for closing the deal shouldn't be a problem.

Automation -

Automation is key when it comes to increasing productivity. You don't want to over-burden your team or reps with repetitive manual tasks and thus using a Customer Relationship Management platform that offers the flexibility of automation is the key. Doing this will free up time and allow them to focus on more important tasks at hand.

Result-oriented -

Processes are only efficient and work for your company if they deliver the needed results. It is easy to get mixed up in workflows and forget about what the ultimate goal is, so make sure to always measure how they contribute to efficient results. Focus on maintaining what is important and remove what seems unnecessary and redundant.

Adaptable roles -

As your team and client base grows, new roles will be filled while other gaps in processes may appear. Be flexible and adaptable instead of trying to fit everyone in your initial workflow. Adapt your processes as your company gets bigger by incorporating new approaches and alterations.

5. Team morale

Sustaining a successful business is a roller coaster ride and comes with its own ups and downs. One of the key factors in ensuring everything is sailing smoothly is team morale, without which it is impossible to reach ultimate productivity. Maintaining a steady stream of motivation can be challenging over time but if unaccounted for, it can also become a critical problem that hampers efficiency.

Provide support -

While your team members should be efficient and skilled at the tasks they were hired to handle, the team manager should always be around to provide support, stability, and advice, owing to their years of experience. While giving new hires space to learn the ropes is needed, you must also ensure structured support and backing.

Always listen -

Work relationships can be challenging no matter how near or far you work from your team members. Communication is necessary but so is non-judgemental listening so you can properly understand and stay engaged with your team. Certain issues with work expectations, task allocations, and company structure need to be handled smartly when managing a remote company.

Incentive-based tasks -

Many employees and reps do well when given incentives for achieving certain targets. A lot of times these incentives are monetary such as year-end bonuses, but you can also add promotions, vacation packages, and other such incentives if you wish. Recognition of achievement and getting rewarded for the same is a great way to maintain morale and motivate your team to better.

Team building exercises -

Humans thrive on social bonding but in a remote work setting that sense of personal communication can get lost. Always encourage team members to socialise online and keep a casual channel of communication open for jokes and general banter between office mates! For instance, take time to incorporate post office video calls where everyone can sit with their choice of beverage and chat with each other in a non-formal setting.

A remote work set up for businesses of all kinds

For most new and modern business ventures, a remote work setup offers a great opportunity to sustain in a fast-growing environment while reducing expenses and risks. We've gone over the many challenges that come with running such a business, but tackling them correctly can give you an advantage over the competition.

Implement the simple solutions and tips given in this two-part blog and swiftly find a way to resolve any challenges you may be facing as a remote business!

    • Choose careful planning, patience, and preparation as a way to handle the work scenario every day.

    • Create a work culture of inclusivity and support, where each team member can readily help the other when needed.

    • Maintain transparency through the company when it comes to work and tasks so that there is a collective understanding of what the company requires to do better and succeed in the industry.

A remote business is built on trust and you cannot micro-manage your team members' work every day. An honest and open approach builds trust and allows for a group of similar-minded people to work together towards a collective goal - the success of your company.

If you are looking for a cloud-based CRM that can efficiently help you handle work remotely, get in touch with our FIVE CRM experts to know more. Our platform is a scalable model that offers collaboration communication, automation of processes, and much more needed by remote businesses to succeed.

FAQs: Managing A Remote Business 

Q: How can I find the right employees for my remote business?
A: When resourcing your team, it's important to do thorough research on candidates, including checking their testimonials and referrals. Utilizing social media platforms to assess their work and considering local candidates can also be beneficial. Setting clear terms and agreements with potential hires is essential for a successful working relationship.

Q: How can I maintain productivity in a remote work environment?
A: Clear communication is key to maintaining productivity in a remote setting. Regular calls and staying aligned on tasks can help ensure everyone is on the same page. Setting objectives for each team member, understanding their motivations, being flexible with work schedules, and monitoring progress are also important strategies.

Q: What are some effective communication strategies for remote teams?
A: Planning communication in advance, using collaboration tools, implementing reporting and overview processes, and minimizing and refining communication channels are effective strategies for maintaining good communication within remote teams.

Q: How can I establish efficient work processes for my remote business?
A: To establish efficient work processes, it's important to keep them simple and versatile, avoiding unnecessary complexity. Automation can also be leveraged to increase productivity. Focusing on results and adapting processes as the company grows are additional strategies for maintaining efficient workflows.

Q: How can I boost team morale in a remote work environment?
A: Providing support to team members, actively listening to their concerns, implementing incentive-based tasks, and organizing team-building exercises can help boost team morale in a remote work environment. Creating opportunities for social interaction and fostering a sense of camaraderie among team members is also important.

Q: What are some important factors to consider when managing a remote business?
A: Careful planning, preparation, and patience are crucial when managing a remote business. Creating a work culture of inclusivity and support, maintaining transparency throughout the company, and building trust among team members are additional factors to consider for success in a remote work environment.

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